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The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. by Jonathan Swift

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interest would draw in a great number of those whose money, by the
dangers and difficulties of trade, lay dead upon their hands; and
whoever were lenders to the government, would, by surest principle, be
obliged to support it. Besides, the men of estates could not be
persuaded, without time and difficulty, to have those taxes laid on
their lands, which custom hath since made so familiar; and it was the
business of such as were then in power to cultivate a moneyed interest;
because the gentry of the kingdom did not very much relish those new
notions in government, to which the King, who had imbibed his politics
in his own country, was thought to give too much way. Neither perhaps
did that Prince think national incumbrances to be any evil at all, since
the flourishing republic, where he was born, is thought to owe more than
ever it will be able or willing to pay. And I remember, when I mentioned
to Mons. Buys the many millions we owed, he would advance it as a maxim,
that it was for the interest of the public to be in debt: which perhaps
may be true in a commonwealth so crazily instituted, where the governors
cannot have too many pledges of their subjects' fidelity, and where a
great majority must inevitably be undone by any revolution, however
brought about: but to prescribe the same rules to a monarchy, whose
wealth ariseth from the rents and improvements of lands, as well as
trade and manufactures, is the mark of a confined and cramped

[Footnote 5: Adam Cardonnell, Esq., secretary to the Duke of
Marlborough, shared in his disgrace. See "The Examiner," No. 28.

[Footnote 6: P. Fitzgerald says "which they have not been able or
willing to pay." [W.S.J.]]

[Footnote 7: Dr. Gilbert Burnet. [ORIGINAL NOTE.]]

I was moved to speak thus, because I am very well satisfied, that the
pernicious counsels of borrowing money upon public funds of interest, as
well as some other state lessons, were taken indigested from the like
practices among the Dutch, without allowing in the least for any
difference in government, religion, law, custom, extent of country, or
manners and dispositions of the people.

But when this expedient of anticipations and mortgages was first put in
practice, artful men, in office and credit, began to consider what uses
it might be applied to; and soon found it was likely to prove the most
fruitful seminary, not only to establish a faction they intended to set
up for their own support, but likewise to raise vast wealth for
themselves in particular, who were to be the managers and directors in
it. It was manifest, that nothing could promote these two designs so
much, as burthening the nation with debts, and giving encouragement to
lenders: for, as to the first, it was not to be doubted, that moneyed
men would be always firm to the party of those who advised the borrowing
upon such good security, and with such exorbitant premiums and interest;
and every new sum that was lent, took away as much power from the landed
men, as it added to theirs: so that the deeper the kingdom was engaged,
it was still the better for them. Thus a new estate and property sprung
up in the hands of mortgagees, to whom every house and foot of land in
England paid a rent-charge, free of all taxes and defalcations, and
purchased at less than half value. So that the gentlemen of estates
were, in effect, but tenants to these new landlords; many of whom were
able, in time, to force the election of boroughs out of the hands of
those who had been the old proprietors and inhabitants. This was arrived
at such a height, that a very few years more of war and funds would have
clearly cast the balance on the moneyed side.

As to the second, this project of borrowing upon funds, was of mighty
advantage to those who were in the management of it, as well as to their
friends and dependants; for, funds proving often deficient, the
government was obliged to strike tallies for making up the rest, which
tallies were sometimes (to speak in the merchants' phrase) at above
forty _per cent_, discount. At this price those who were in the secret
bought them up, and then took care to have that deficiency supplied in
the next session of Parliament, by which they doubled their principal in
a few months; and, for the encouragement of lenders, every new project
of lotteries or annuities proposed some farther advantage, either as to
interest or premium.

In the year one thousand six hundred and ninety-seven, a general
mortgage was made of certain revenues and taxes already settled, which
amounted to near a million a year. This mortgage was to continue till
one thousand seven hundred and six, to be a fund for the payment of
about five millions one hundred thousand pounds. In the first Parliament
of the Queen, the said mortgage was continued till one thousand seven
hundred and ten, to supply a deficiency of two millions three hundred
thousand pounds, and interest of above a million; and in the
intermediate years a great part of that fund was branched out into
annuities for ninety-nine years; so that the late ministry raised all
their money to one thousand seven hundred and ten, only by continuing
funds which were already granted to their hands. This deceived the
people in general, who were satisfied to continue the payments they had
been accustomed to, and made the administration seem easy, since the war
went on without any new taxes raised, except the very last year they
were in power; not considering what a mighty fund was exhausted, and
must be perpetuated, although extremely injurious to trade, and to the
true interest of the nation.

This great fund of the general mortgage was not only loaded, year after
year, by mighty sums borrowed upon it, but with the interests due upon
those sums; for which the treasury was forced to strike tallies, payable
out of that fund, after all the money already borrowed upon it, there
being no other provision of interest for three or four years: till at
last the fund was so overloaded, that it could neither pay principal nor
interest, and tallies were struck for both, which occasioned their great

But to avoid mistakes upon a subject, where I am not very well versed
either in the style or matter, I will transcribe an account sent me by a
person[8] who is thoroughly instructed in these affairs.

[Footnote 8: Sir John Blunt. [ORIGINAL NOTE.] He was one of the first
projectors of the South Sea Company, and died in January, 1733. [W.S.J.]]

"In the year one thousand seven hundred and seven, the sum of eight
hundred twenty-two thousand three hundred and eighty one pounds, fifteen
shillings and sixpence, was raised, by continuing part of the general
mortgage from one thousand seven hundred and ten to one thousand seven
hundred and twelve; but with no provision of interest till August the
first, one thousand seven hundred and ten, otherwise than by striking
tallies for it on that fund, payable after all the other money borrowed.

"In one thousand seven hundred and eight, the same funds were continued
from one thousand seven hundred and twelve to one thousand seven hundred
and fourteen, to raise seven hundred twenty-nine thousand sixty-seven
pounds fifteen shillings and sixpence; but no provision for interest
till August the first, one thousand seven hundred and twelve, otherwise
than as before, by striking tallies for it on the same fund, payable
after all the rest of the money borrowed. And the discount of tallies
then beginning to rise, great part of that money remains still unraised;
and there is nothing to pay interest for the money lent, till August the
first, one thousand seven hundred and twelve. But the late lord
treasurer struck tallies for the full sum directed by the act to be
borrowed, great part of which have been delivered in payment to the navy
and victualling offices, and some are still in the hands of the

"In one thousand seven hundred and nine, part of the same fund was
continued from August the first, one thousand seven hundred and
fourteen, to August the first, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen,
to raise six hundred and forty-five thousand pounds; and no provision
for interest till August the first, one thousand seven hundred and
fourteen (which was about five years), but by borrowing money on the
same fund, payable after the sums before lent; so that little of that
money was lent But the tallies were struck for what was unlent, some of
which were given out for the payment of the navy and victualling, and
some still remain in the hands of the government.

"In one thousand seven hundred and ten, the sums which were before given
from one thousand seven hundred and fourteen, to one thousand seven
hundred and sixteen, were continued from thence to one thousand seven
hundred and twenty, to raise one million two hundred and ninety-six
thousand five hundred and fifty-two pounds nine shillings and
elevenpence three farthings; and no immediate provision for interest
till August the first, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen; only,
after the duty of one shilling _per_ bushel on salt should be cleared
from the money it was then charged with, and which was not so cleared
till Midsummer one thousand seven hundred and twelve last, then that
fund was to be applied to pay the interest till August the first, one
thousand seven hundred and sixteen, which interest amounted to about
seventy-seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-three pounds _per
annum_: and the said salt fund produceth but about fifty-five thousand
pounds _per annum_; so that no money was borrowed upon the general
mortgage in one thousand seven hundred and ten, except one hundred and
fifty thousand pounds lent by the Swiss cantons; but tallies were struck
for the whole sum. These all remained in the late treasurer's hands at
the time of his removal, yet the money was expended, which occasioned
those great demands upon the commissioners of the treasury who succeeded
him, and were forced to pawn those tallies to the bank, or to remitters,
rather than sell them at twenty or twenty-five _per cent_. discount, as
the price then was. About two hundred thousand pounds of them they paid
to clothiers of the army, and others; and all the rest, being above
ninety thousand pounds, have been subscribed into the South Sea Company
for the use of the public."

When the Earl of Godolphin was removed from his employment, he left a
debt upon the navy of ---- millions,[9] all contracted under his
administration,[10] which had no Parliament-security, and was daily
increased. Neither could I ever learn, whether that lord had the
smallest prospect of clearing this incumbrance, or whether there were
policy, negligence, or despair at the bottom of this unaccountable
management. But the consequences were visible and ruinous; for by this
means navy-bills grew to be forty _per cent_. discount, and upwards; and
almost every kind of stores, bought by the navy and victualling offices,
cost the government double rates, and sometimes more: so that the public
hath directly lost several millions upon this one article, without any
sort of necessity, that I could ever hear assigned by the ablest
vindicators of that party.

[Footnote 9: "Of millions" in original. "Of ---- millions" in 1775.

[Footnote 10: See "The Examiner," No. 45, and note in vol. ix. of this
edition, p. 295. [W.S.J.]]

In this oppressed and entangled state was the kingdom, with relation to
its debts, when the Queen removed the Earl of Godolphin from his office,
and put it into commission, of which the present treasurer was one. This
person had been chosen speaker successively to three Parliaments, was
afterwards secretary of state, and always in great esteem with the Queen
for his wisdom and fidelity. The late ministry, about two years before
their fall, had prevailed with Her Majesty, much against her
inclination, to dismiss him from her service; for which they cannot be
justly blamed, since he had endeavoured the same thing against them, and
very narrowly failed; which makes it the more extraordinary that he
should succeed in a second attempt against those very adversaries, who
had such fair warning by the first. He is firm and steady in his
resolutions, not easily diverted from them after he hath once possessed
himself of an opinion that they are right, nor very communicative where
he can act by himself, being taught by experience, that a secret is
seldom safe in more than one breast. That which occurs to other men
after mature deliberation, offers to him as his first thoughts; so that
he decides immediately what is best to be done, and therefore is seldom
at a loss upon sudden exigencies. He thinks it a more easy and safe rule
in politics to watch incidents as they come, and then turn them to the
advantage of what he pursues, than pretend to foresee them at a great
distance. Fear, cruelty, avarice, and pride, are wholly strangers to his
nature; but he is not without ambition. There is one thing peculiar in
his temper, which I altogether disapprove, and do not remember to have
heard or met with in any other man's character: I mean, an easiness and
indifference under any imputation, although he be never so innocent, and
although the strongest probabilities and appearance are against him; so
that I have known him often suspected by his nearest friends, for some
months, in points of the highest importance, to a degree, that they were
ready to break with him, and only undeceived by time and accident. His
detractors, who charge him with cunning, are but ill acquainted with his
character; for, in the sense they take the word, and as it is usually
understood, I know no man to whom that mean talent could be with less
justice applied, as the conduct of affairs, while he hath been at the
helm, doth clearly demonstrate, very contrary to the nature and
principles of cunning, which is always employed in serving little turns,
proposing little ends, and supplying daily exigencies by little shifts
and expedients. But to rescue a prince out of the hands of insolent
subjects, bent upon such designs as must probably end in the ruin of the
government; to find out means for paying such exorbitant debts as this
nation hath been involved in, and reduce it to a better management; to
make a potent enemy offer advantageous terms of peace, and deliver up
the most important fortress of his kingdom, as a security;[11] and this
against all the opposition, mutually raised and inflamed by parties and
allies; such performances can only be called cunning by those whose want
of understanding, or of candour, puts them upon finding ill names for
great qualities of the mind, which themselves do neither possess, nor
can form any just conception of. However, it must be allowed, that an
obstinate love of secrecy in this minister seems, at distance, to have
some resemblance of cunning; for he is not only very retentive of
secrets, but appears to be so too, which I number amongst his defects.
He hath been blamed by his friends for refusing to discover his
intentions, even in those points where the wisest man may have need of
advice and assistance, and some have censured him, upon that account, as
if he were jealous of power but he hath been heard to answer, "That he
seldom did otherwise, without cause to repent"

[Footnote 11: This is surely a piece of Swift's partiality for Oxford;
since it practically deprives Bolingbroke of whatever credit was his for
the Peace of Utrecht, and that was not a little; certainly more than may
be given to Oxford. [T.S.]]

However, so undistinguished a caution cannot, in my opinion, be
justified, by which the owner loseth many advantages, and whereof all
men, who deserved to be confided in, may with some reason complain. His
love of procrastination (wherein doubtless nature hath her share) may
probably be increased by the same means, but this is an imputation laid
upon many other great ministers, who, like men under too heavy a load,
let fall that which is of the least consequence, and go back to fetch it
when their shoulders are free, for time is often gained, as well as
lost, by delay, which at worst is a fault on the securer side.[12]
Neither probably is this minister answerable for half the clamour raised
against him upon that article: his endeavours are wholly turned upon the
general welfare of his country, but perhaps with too little regard to
that of particular persons, which renders him less amiable, than he
would otherwise have been from the goodness of his humour, and agreeable
conversation in a private capacity, and with few dependers. Yet some
allowance may perhaps be given to this failing, which is one of the
greatest he hath, since he cannot be more careless of other men's
fortunes than he is of his own. He is master of a very great and
faithful memory, which is of mighty use in the management of public
affairs; and I believe there are few examples to be produced in any age,
of a person who hath passed through so many employments in the state,
endowed with a great share, both of divine and human learning.

[Footnote 12: Unfortunately, procrastination too often ended for Harley
in very unpleasant results, and it is not too much to say, this failing
was the indirect cause of his downfall. Swift's character of Oxford, as
given in this "History," should be compared with that given of him in
"An Enquiry into the Behaviour of the Queen's Last Ministry" (vol v, pp
431-434, of present edition). Dr William King, to whom Swift had written
in 1736, for certain dates and official extracts to be included in this
"History," wrote to Swift (December 7th, 1736), referring to this very
matter of Oxford's character. As the letter applies to some other
portions of this "History," it will be better if it be given here.

"London, December 7th, 1736


I arrived here yesterday [King had been on a visit to Paris], and I am
now ready to obey your commands. I hope you are come to a positive
resolution concerning the History. You need not hesitate about the
dates, or the references which are to be made to any public papers, for
I can supply them without the least trouble. As well as I remember,
there is but one of those public pieces which you determined should be
inserted at length; I mean Sir Thomas Hanmer's Representation; this I
have now by me. If you incline to publish the two tracts as an Appendix
to the History, you will be pleased to see if the character given of the
Earl of Oxford in the pamphlet of 1715 agrees with the character given
of the same person in the History. Perhaps on a review, you may think
proper to leave one of them quite out. You have (I think) barely
mentioned the attempt of Guiscard, and the quarrel between Rechteren and
Mesnager. But as these are facts which are probably now forgot or
unknown, it would not be amiss if they were related at large in the
notes, which may be done from the Gazettes, or any other newspapers of
those times," etc. See Sir W. Scott's edit, vol xix, pp 20-21 [T.S.]]

I am persuaded that foreigners, as well as those at home, who live too
remote from the scene of business to be rightly informed, will not be
displeased with this account of a person, who in the space of two years,
hath been so highly instrumental in changing the face of affairs in
Europe, and hath deserved so well of his own Prince and country.[13]

[Footnote 13: See also Swift's "Enquiry" (vol. v., pp. 425-476).

In that perplexed condition of the public debts, which I have already
described, this minister was brought into the treasury and exchequer,
and had the chief direction of affairs. His first regulation was that of
exchequer bills, which, to the great discouragement of public credit,
and scandal to the crown, were three _per cent._ less in value than the
sums specified in them. The present treasurer, being then chancellor of
the exchequer, procured an Act of Parliament, by which the Bank of
England should be obliged, in consideration of forty-five thousand
pounds, to accept and circulate those bills without any discount. He
then proceeded to stop the depredations of those who dealt in
remittances of money to the army, who, by unheard of exactions in that
kind of traffic, had amassed prodigious wealth at the public cost, to
which the Earl of Godolphin had given too much way,[14] _possibly by
neglect; for I think he cannot be accused of corruption_.

[Footnote 14: Added in the author's own handwriting. [ORIGINAL NOTE.] P.
Fitzgerald gives the addition as "either through ignorance, connivance,
or neglect." [W.S.J.]]

But the new treasurer's chief concern was to restore the credit of the
nation, by finding some settlement for unprovided debts, amounting in
the whole to ten millions, which hung on the public as a load equally
heavy and disgraceful, without any prospect of being removed, and which
former ministers never had the care or courage to inspect. He resolved
to go at once to the bottom of this evil; and having computed and summed
up the debt of the navy, and victualling, ordnance, and transport of the
army, and transport debentures made out for the service of the last war,
of the general mortgage tallies for the year one thousand seven hundred
and ten, and some other deficiencies, he then found out a fund of
interest sufficient to answer all this, which, being applied to other
uses, could not raise present money for the war, but in a very few years
would clear the debt it was engaged for. The intermediate accruing
interest was to be paid by the treasurer of the navy; and, as a farther
advantage to the creditors, they should be erected into a company for
trading to the South Seas, and for encouragement of fishery. When all
this was fully prepared and digested, he made a motion in the House of
Commons (who deferred extremely to his judgment and abilities) for
paying the debts of the navy, and other unprovided deficiencies, without
entering into particulars, which was immediately voted. But a sudden
stop was put to this affair by an unforeseen accident. The chancellor of
the exchequer (which was then his title) being stabbed with a penknife,
the following day, at the Cockpit, in the midst of a dozen lords of the
council, by the Sieur de Guiscard, a French papist; the circumstances of
which fact being not within the compass of this History, I shall only
observe, that after two months' confinement, and frequent danger of his
life, he returned to his seat in Parliament.[15]

[Footnote 15: See the particular account in "The Examiner." [ORIGINAL
NOTE.] The reference is to Nos. 33, 41, and 42 of that paper (see vol.
ix, of this edition). [W.S.J.]]

The overtures made by this minister, of paying so vast a debt, under the
pressures of a long war, and the difficulty of finding supplies for
continuing it, was, during the time of his illness, ridiculed by his
enemies as an impracticable and visionary project: and when, upon his
return to the House, he had explained his proposal, the very proprietors
of the debt were, many of them, prevailed on to oppose it; although the
obtaining this trade, either through Old Spain, or directly to the
Spanish West Indies, had been one principal end we aimed at by this war.
However, the bill passed; and, as an immediate consequence, the naval
bills rose to about twenty _per cent_., nor ever fell within ten of
their discount. Another good effect of this work appeared by the
parliamentary lotteries, which have been since erected. The last of that
kind, under the former ministry, was eleven weeks in filling; whereas
the first, under the present, was filled in a very few hours, although
it cost the government less; and the others, which followed, were full
before the Acts concerning them could pass. And to prevent incumbrances
of this kind from growing for the future, he took care, by the utmost
parsimony, or by suspending payments, where they seemed less to press,
that all stores for the navy should be bought with ready money; by which
_cent. per cent._ hath been saved in that mighty article of our expense,
as will appear from an account taken at the victualling office on the
9th of August, one thousand seven hundred and twelve. And the payment of
the interest was less a burthen upon the navy, by the stores being
bought at so cheap a rate.

It might look invidious to enter into farther particulars upon this
head, but of smaller moment. What I have above related, may serve to
shew in how ill a condition the kingdom stood, with relation to its
debts, by the corruption as well as negligence of former management; and
what prudent, effectual measures have since been taken to provide for
old incumbrances, and hinder the running into new. This may be
sufficient for the information of the reader, perhaps already tired with
a subject so little entertaining as that of accounts: I shall therefore
now return to relate some of the principal matters that passed in
Parliament, during this session.

Upon the eighteenth of January the House of Lords sent down a bill to
the Commons, for fixing the precedence of the Hanover family, which
probably had been forgot in the Acts for settling the succession of the
crown. That of Henry VIII. which gives the rank to princes of the blood,
carries it no farther than to nephews, nieces, and grandchildren of the
crown, by virtue of which the Princess Sophia is a princess of the
blood, as niece to King Charles I of England, and precedes accordingly,
but this privilege doth not descend to her son the Elector, or the
electoral prince. To supply which defect, and pay a compliment to the
presumptive heirs of the crown, this bill, as appeareth by the preamble,
was recommended by Her Majesty to the House of Lords, which the Commons,
to shew their zeal for every thing that might be thought to concern the
interest or honour of that illustrious family, ordered to be read thrice,
passed _nemine contradicente_ and returned to the Lords, without any
amendment, on the very day it was sent down.

But the House seemed to have nothing more at heart than a strict inquiry
into the state of the nation, with respect to foreign alliances. Some
discourses had been published in print, about the beginning of the
session, boldly complaining of certain articles in the Barrier Treaty,
concluded about three years since by the Lord Viscount Townshend,
between Great Britain and the States General, and shewing, in many
particulars, the unequal conduct of these powers in our alliance, in
furnishing their quotas and supplies. It was asserted by the same
writers, "That these hardships, put upon England, had been countenanced
and encouraged by a party here at home, in order to preserve their
power, which could be no otherwise maintained than by continuing the
war, as well as by Her Majesty's general abroad, upon account of his own
peculiar interest and grandeur." These loud accusations spreading
themselves throughout the kingdom, delivered in facts directly charged,
and thought, whether true or not, to be but weakly confuted, had
sufficiently prepared the minds of the people, and, by putting arguments
into every body's mouth, had filled the town and country with
controversies, both in writing and discourse. The point appeared to be
of great consequence, whether the war continued or not for, in the
former case, it was necessary that the allies should be brought to a
more equal regulation, and that the States in particular, for whom Her
Majesty had done such great things, should explain and correct those
articles in the Barrier Treaty which were prejudicial to Britain, and,
in either case, it was fit the people should have at least the
satisfaction of knowing by whose counsels, and for what designs, they
had been so hardly treated.

In order to this great inquiry, the Barrier Treaty, with all other
treaties and agreements entered into between Her Majesty and her allies,
during the present war, for the raising and augmenting the proportions
for the service thereof, were, by the Queen's directions, laid before
the House.

Several resolutions were drawn up, and reported at different times, upon
the deficiencies of the allies in furnishing their quotas, upon certain
articles in the Barrier Treaty, and upon the state of the war; by all
which it appeared, that whatever had been charged by public discourses
in print against the late ministry, and the conduct of the allies, was
much less than the truth. Upon these resolutions (by one of which the
Lord Viscount Townshend, who negotiated and signed the Barrier Treaty,
was declared an enemy to the Queen and kingdom), and upon some farther
directions to the committee, a Representation was formed; and soon after
the Commons in a body presented it to the Queen, the endeavours of the
adverse party not prevailing to have it re-committed.

This Representation (supposed to be the work of Sir Thomas Hanmer's[16]
pen) is written with much energy and spirit, and will be a very useful
authentic record, for the assistance of those who at any time shall
undertake to write the history of the present times.

[Footnote 16: But to which the Dean himself contributed a large share.
[S.] Swift writes in his "Journal," under date February 21st: "I left
them at 7, being engaged to go to Sir Tho. Hanmer, who desired I would
see him at that hour. His business was, that I would help him to draw up
the representation, which I consented to do" (vol. ii., p. 340). [W.S.J.]]

I did intend, for brevity sake, to have given the reader only an
abstract of it; but, upon trial, found myself unequal to such a task,
without injuring so excellent a piece. And although I think historical
relations are but ill patched up with long transcripts already printed,
which, upon that account, I have hitherto avoided; yet this being the
sum of all debates and resolutions of the House of Commons in that great
affair of the war, I conceived it could not well be omitted.[1]

[Footnote 17: This "Representation" was printed by S. Keble by order of
the Speaker, and is also to be found in the "Journals of the House of
Commons," vol. xvii., pp. 119-123. [W.S.J.]]


"We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Great
Britain in Parliament assembled, having nothing so much at heart, as to
enable your Majesty to bring this long and expensive war to an
honourable and happy conclusion, have taken it into our most serious
consideration, how the necessary supplies to be provided by us may be
best applied, and the common cause may in the most effectual manner be
carried on, by the united force of the whole confederacy; we have
thought ourselves obliged, in duty to your Majesty, and in discharge of
the trust reposed in us, to inquire into the true state of the war, in
all its parts; we have examined what stipulations have been entered into
between your Majesty and your allies; and how far such engagements have
on each side been made good. We have considered the different interests
which the confederates have in the success of this war, and the
different shares they have contributed to its support: we have with our
utmost care and diligence endeavoured to discover the nature, extent,
and charge of it, to the end, that by comparing the weight thereof with
our own strength, we might adapt the one to the other in such measure,
as neither to continue your Majesty's subjects under a heavier burden,
than in reason and justice they ought to bear; nor deceive your Majesty,
your allies, and ourselves, by undertaking more than the nation in its
present circumstances is able to perform.

"Your Majesty has been graciously pleased, upon our humble applications,
to order such materials to be laid before us, as have furnished us with
the necessary information upon the particulars we have inquired into;
and when we shall have laid before your Majesty our observations, and
humble advice upon this subject, we promise to ourselves this happy
fruit from it, that if your Majesty's generous and good purposes, for
the procuring a safe and lasting peace, should, through the obstinacy of
the enemy, or by any other means, be unhappily defeated, a true
knowledge and understanding of the past conduct of the war will be the
best foundation for a more frugal and equal management of it for the
time to come.

"In order to take the more perfect view of what we proposed, and that we
might be able to set the whole before your Majesty in a true light, we
have thought it necessary to go back to the beginning of the war, and
beg leave to observe the motives and reasons, upon which his late
Majesty King William engaged first in it. The treaty of the Grand
Alliance, explains those reasons to be for the supporting the
pretensions of his Imperial Majesty, then actually engaged in a war with
the French King, who had usurped the entire Spanish monarchy for his
grandson the Duke of Anjou; and for the assisting the States General,
who, by the loss of their barrier against France, were then in the same,
or a more dangerous condition, than if they were actually invaded. As
these were the just and necessary motives for undertaking this war, so
the ends proposed to be obtained by it, were equally wise and
honourable; for as they are set forth in the eighth article of the same
treaty, they appear to have been _the procuring an equitable and
reasonable satisfaction to his Imperial Majesty, and sufficient
securities for the dominions, provinces, navigation, and commerce of the
King of Great Britain, and the States General, and the making effectual
provision, that the two kingdoms of France and Spain should never be
united under the same government;_ and particularly, that the French
should never get into the possession of the Spanish West Indies, or be
permitted to sail thither, upon the account of traffic, under any
pretence whatsoever; and lastly, the securing to the subjects of the
King of Great Britain, and the States General, all the same privileges,
and rights of commerce, throughout the whole dominions of Spain, as they
enjoyed before the death of Charles the Second King of Spain, by virtue
of any treaty, agreement, or custom, or any other way whatsoever. For
the obtaining these ends, the three confederated powers engaged to
assist one another with their whole force, according to such proportions
as should be specified in a particular convention, afterwards to be made
for that purpose: we do not find that any such convention was ever
ratified; but it appears, that there was an agreement concluded, which,
by common consent, was understood to be binding upon each party
respectively, and according to which the proportions of Great Britain
were from the beginning regulated and founded. The terms of that
agreement were, That for the service at land, his Imperial Majesty
should furnish ninety thousand men, the King of Great Britain forty
thousand, and the States General one hundred and two thousand, of which
there were forty-two thousand intended to supply their garrisons, and
sixty thousand to act against the common enemy in the field; and with
regard to the operations of the war at sea, they were agreed to be
performed jointly by Great Britain and the States General, the quota of
ships to be furnished for that service being five-eighths on the part of
Great Britain, and three-eighths on the part of the States General.

"Upon this foot, the war began in the year one thousand seven hundred
and two, at which time the whole yearly expense of it to England
amounted to three millions, seven hundred and six thousand four hundred
ninety-four pounds; a very great charge, as it was then thought by your
Majesty's subjects, after the short interval of ease they had enjoyed
from the burden of the former war, but yet a very moderate proportion,
in comparison with the load which hath since been laid upon them: for it
appears, by estimates given in to your Commons, that the sums necessary
to carry on the service for this present year, in the same manner as it
was performed the last year, amount to more than six millions nine
hundred and sixty thousand pounds, besides interest for the public
debts, and the deficiencies accruing the last year, which two articles
require one million one hundred and forty-three thousand pounds more: so
that the whole demands upon your Commons are arisen to more than eight
millions for the present annual supply. We know your Majesty's tender
regard for the welfare of your people, will make it uneasy to you to
hear of so great a pressure as this upon them; and as we are assured, it
will fully convince your Majesty of the necessity of our present
inquiry; so we beg leave to represent to you, from what causes, and by
what steps, this immense charge appears to have grown upon us.

"The service at sea, as it has been very large and extensive in itself,
so it has been carried on, through the whole course of the war, in a
manner highly disadvantageous to your Majesty and your kingdom: for the
necessity of affairs requiring that great fleets should be fitted out
every year, as well for the maintaining a superiority in the
Mediterranean, as for opposing any force which the enemy might prepare,
either at Dunkirk, or in the ports of West France, your Majesty's
example and readiness in fitting out your proportion of ships, for all
parts of that service, have been so far from prevailing with the States
General to keep pace with you, that they have been deficient every year
to a great degree, in proportion to what your Majesty hath furnished;
sometimes no less than two-thirds, and generally more than half of their
quota: from hence your Majesty has been obliged, for the preventing
disappointments in the most pressing services, to supply those
deficiencies by additional reinforcements of your own ships; nor hath
the single increase of such a charge been the only ill consequence that
attended it; for by this means the debt of the navy hath been enhanced,
so that the discounts arising upon the credit of it have affected all
other parts of the service. From the same cause, your Majesty's ships of
war have been forced in greater numbers to continue in remote seas, and
at unseasonable times of the year, to the great damage and decay of the
British navy. This also hath been the occasion that your Majesty hath
been straitened in your convoys for trade; your coasts have been
exposed, for want of a sufficient number of cruisers to guard them; and
you have been disabled from annoying the enemy, in their most beneficial
commerce with the West Indies, from whence they received those vast
supplies of treasure, without which they could not have supported the
expenses of this war.

"That part of the war which hath been carried on in Flanders, was at
first immediately necessary to the security of the States General, and
hath since brought them great acquisitions, both of revenue and
dominion; yet even there the original proportions have been departed
from, and, during the course of the war, have been sinking by degrees on
the part of Holland; so that in this last year, we find the number in
which they fell short of their three-fifths, to your Majesty's
two-fifths, have been twenty thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven
men: we are not unmindful, that in the year one thousand seven hundred
and three, a treaty was made between the two nations, for a joint
augmentation of twenty thousand men, wherein the proportions were
varied, and England consented to take half upon itself. But it having
been annexed as an express condition to the grant of the said
augmentation in Parliament, that the States General should prohibit all
trade and commerce with France, and that condition having not been
performed by them, the Commons think it reasonable, that the first rule
of three to two ought to have taken place again, as well in that as in
other subsequent augmentations, more especially when they consider, that
the revenues of those rich provinces which have been conquered, would,
if they were duly applied, maintain a great number of new additional
forces against the common enemy; notwithstanding which, the States
General have raised none upon that account, but make use of those fresh
supplies of money, only to ease themselves in the charge of their first
established quota.

"As in the progress of the war in Flanders, a disproportion was soon
created to the prejudice of England; so the very beginning of the war in
Portugal, brought an unequal share of burden upon us; for although the
Emperor and the States General were equally parties with your Majesty in
the treaty with the King of Portugal, yet the Emperor neither furnishing
his third part of the troops and subsidies stipulated for, nor the Dutch
consenting to take an equal share of his Imperial Majesty's defect upon
themselves, your Majesty hath been obliged to furnish two-thirds of the
entire expense created by that service. Nor has the inequality stopped
there; for ever since the year one thousand seven hundred and six, when
the English and Dutch forces marched out of Portugal into Castile, the
States General have entirely abandoned the war in Portugal, and left
your Majesty to prosecute it singly at your own charge, which you have
accordingly done, by replacing a greater number of troops there, than
even at first you took upon you to provide. At the same time your
Majesty's generous endeavours for the support and defence of the King of
Portugal, have been but ill seconded by that Prince himself; for
notwithstanding that by his treaty he had obliged himself to furnish
twelve thousand foot, and three thousand horse, upon his own account,
besides eleven thousand foot, and two thousand horse more, in
consideration of a subsidy paid him; yet, according to the best
information your Commons can procure, it appears, that he hath scarce at
any time furnished thirteen thousand men in the whole.

"In Spain the war hath been yet more unequal, and burdensome to your
Majesty, than in any other branch of it; for being commenced without any
treaty whatsoever, the allies have almost wholly declined taking any
part of it upon themselves. A small body of English and Dutch troops
were sent thither in the year one thousand seven hundred and five, not
as being thought sufficient to support a regular war, or to make the
conquest of so large a country; but with a view only of assisting the
Spaniards to set King Charles upon the throne; occasioned by the great
assurances which were given of their inclinations to the House of
Austria: but this expectation failing, England was insensibly drawn into
an established war, under all the disadvantages of the distance of the
place, and the feeble efforts of the other allies. The account we have
to lay before your Majesty, upon this head, is, that although the
undertaking was entered upon at the particular and earnest request of
the imperial court, and for a cause of no less importance and concern to
them, than the reducing the Spanish monarchy to the House of Austria;
yet neither the late emperors, nor his present Imperial Majesty, have
ever had any forces there on their own account, till the last year; and
then, only one regiment of foot, consisting of two thousand men. Though
the States General have contributed something more to this service, yet
their share also hath been inconsiderable; for in the space of four
years, from one thousand seven hundred and five, to one thousand seven
hundred and eight, both inclusive, all the forces they have sent into
that country have not exceeded twelve thousand two hundred men; and from
the year one thousand seven hundred and eight to this time, they have
not sent any forces or recruits whatsoever. To your Majesty's care and
charge the recovery of that kingdom hath been in a manner wholly left,
as if none else were interested or concerned in it. And the forces which
your Majesty hath sent into Spain, in the space of seven years, from one
thousand seven hundred and five to one thousand seven hundred and
eleven, both inclusive, have amounted to no less than fifty-seven
thousand nine hundred seventy-three men; besides thirteen battalions and
eighteen squadrons, for which your Majesty hath paid a subsidy to the

"How great the established expense of such a number of men hath been,
your Majesty very well knows, and your Commons very sensibly feel; but
the weight will be found much greater, when it is considered how many
heavy articles of unusual and extraordinary charge have attended this
remote and difficult service, all which have been entirely defrayed by
your Majesty, except that one of transporting the few forces, which were
sent by the States General, and the victualling of them during their
transportation only. The accounts delivered to your Commons shew, that
the charge of your Majesty's ships and vessels, employed in the service
of the war in Spain and Portugal, reckoned after the rate of four pounds
a man _per_ month, from the time they sailed from hence, till they
returned, were lost, or put upon other services, hath amounted to six
millions five hundred and forty thousand nine hundred and sixty-six
pounds fourteen shillings: the charge of transports on the part of Great
Britain, for carrying on the war in Spain and Portugal, from the
beginning of it till this time, hath amounted to one million three
hundred thirty-six thousand seven hundred and nineteen pounds, nineteen
shillings, and elevenpence; that of victualling land forces for the same
service, to five hundred eighty-three thousand seven hundred and seventy
pounds, eight shillings, and sixpence; and that of contingencies, and
other extraordinaries for the same service, to one million eight hundred
and forty thousand three hundred and fifty-three pounds.

"We should take notice to your Majesty of several sums paid upon account
of contingencies, and extraordinaries in Flanders, making together the
sum of one million one hundred and seven thousand and ninety-six pounds:
but we are not able to make any comparison of them, with what the States
General have expended upon the same head, having no such state of their
extraordinary charge before us. There remains therefore but one
particular more for your Majesty's observation, which arises from the
subsidies paid to foreign princes. These, at the beginning of the war,
were borne in equal proportion by your Majesty, and the States General;
but in this instance also, the balance hath been cast in prejudice of
your Majesty: for it appears, that your Majesty hath since advanced more
than your equal proportion, three millions one hundred and fifty-five
thousand crowns[18], besides extraordinaries paid in Italy, and not
included in any of the foregoing articles, which arise to five hundred
thirty-nine thousand five hundred and fifty-three pounds.

[Footnote 18: In the "Journals of the House of Commons," vol. xvii., p.
48, is an exact state of all the subsidies and extra expenses, from 1702
to 1711. [N.]]

"We have laid these several particulars before your Majesty in the
shortest manner we have been able; and by an estimate grounded on the
preceding facts, it does appear, that over and above the quotas on the
part of Great Britain, answering to those contributed by your allies,
more than nineteen millions have been expended by your Majesty, during
the course of this war, by way of surplusage, or exceeding in balance,
of which none of the confederates have furnished any thing whatsoever.

"It is with very great concern, that we find so much occasion given us,
to represent how ill an use hath been made of your Majesty's and your
subjects' zeal for the common cause; that the interest of that cause
hath not been proportionably promoted by it, but others only have been
eased at your Majesty's and your subjects' costs, and have been connived
at, in laying their part of the burden upon this kingdom, although they
have upon all accounts been equally, and in most respects, much more
nearly concerned than Britain in the issue of the war. We are persuaded
your Majesty will think it pardonable in us, with some resentment to
complain of the little regard, which some of those, whom your Majesty of
late years intrusted, have shewn to the interests of their country, in
giving way, at least, to such unreasonable impositions upon it, if not
in some measure contriving them. The course of which impositions hath
been so singular and extraordinary, that the more the wealth of this
nation hath been exhausted, and the more your Majesty's arms have been
attended with success, the heavier hath been the burden laid upon us;
whilst on the other hand, the more vigorous your Majesty's efforts have
been, and the greater the advantages which have redounded thence to your
allies, the more those allies have abated in their share of the expense.

"At the first entrance into this war, the Commons were induced to exert
themselves in the extraordinary manner they did, and to grant such large
supplies, as had been unknown to former ages, in hopes thereby to
prevent the mischiefs of a lingering war, and to bring that, in which
they were necessarily engaged, to a speedy conclusion; but they have
been very unhappy in the event, whilst they have so much reason to
suspect, that what was intended to shorten the war, hath proved the very
cause of its long continuance; for those, to whom the profits of it have
accrued, have been disposed not easily to forgo them. And your Majesty
will from thence discern _the true reason, why so many have delighted in
a war, which brought in so rich an harvest yearly from Great Britain_.

"We are as far from desiring, as we know your Majesty will be from
concluding any peace, but upon safe and honourable terms; and we are far
from intending to excuse ourselves from raising all necessary and
possible supplies, for an effectual prosecution of the war, till such a
peace can be obtained: all that your faithful Commons aim at, all that
they wish, is an equal concurrence from the other powers, engaged in
alliance with your Majesty; and a just application of what hath been
already gained from the enemy, towards promoting the common cause.
Several large countries and territories have been restored to the house
of Austria, such as the kingdom of Naples, the duchy of Milan, and other
places in Italy; others have been conquered, and added to their
dominions, as the two electorates of Bavaria and Cologne, the duchy of
Mantua, and the bishopric of Liege; these having been reduced in great
measure by our blood and treasure, may, we humbly conceive, with great
reason, be claimed to come in aid towards carrying on the war in Spain.
And therefore we make it our earnest request to your Majesty, that you
will give instructions to your ministers, to insist with the Emperor,
that the revenues of those several places, excepting only such a portion
thereof as is necessary for their defence, be actually so applied: and
as to the other parts of the war, to which your Majesty hath obliged
yourself by particular treaties to contribute, we humbly beseech your
Majesty, that you will be pleased to take effectual care, that your
allies do perform their parts stipulated by those treaties; and that
your Majesty will, for the future, no otherwise furnish troops, or pay
subsidies, than in proportion to what your allies shall actually furnish
and pay. When this justice is done to your Majesty, and to your people,
there is nothing which your Commons will not cheerfully grant, towards
supporting your Majesty in the cause in which you are engaged. And
whatever farther shall appear to be necessary for carrying on the war,
either at sea or land, we will effectually enable your Majesty to bear
your reasonable share of any such expense, and will spare no supplies
which your subjects are able, with their utmost efforts to afford.

"After having enquired into, and considered the state of the war, in
which the part your Majesty has borne, appears to have been, not only
superior to that of any one ally, but even equal to that of the whole
confederacy; your Commons naturally inclined to hope, that they should
find care had been taken of securing some particular advantages to
Britain, in the terms of a future peace; such as might afford a prospect
of making the nation amends, in time, for that immense treasure which
has been expended, and those heavy debts which have been contracted, in
the course of so long and burdensome a war. This reasonable expectation
could no way have been better answered, than by some provision made for
the further security, and the greater improvement of the commerce of
Great Britain; but we find ourselves so very far disappointed in these
hopes, that in a treaty not long since concluded between your Majesty
and the States General, under colour of a mutual guarantee, given for
two points of the greatest importance to both nations, the Succession,
and the Barrier; it appears, the interest of Great Britain hath been not
only neglected, but sacrificed; and that several articles in the said
treaty, are destructive to the trade and welfare of this kingdom, and
therefore highly dishonourable to your Majesty.

"Your Commons observe, in the first place, that several towns and places
are, by virtue of this treaty, to be put into the hands of the States
General, particularly Nieuport, Dendermonde, and the castle of Ghent,
which can in no sense be looked upon as part of a barrier against
France, but being the keys of the Netherlands towards Britain, must make
the trade of your Majesty's subjects in those parts precarious, and
whenever the States think fit, totally exclude them from it. The
pretended necessity of putting these places into the hands of the States
General, in order to secure to them a communication with their barrier,
must appear vain and groundless; for the sovereignty of the Low
Countries being not to remain to an enemy, but to a friend and an ally,
that communication must be always secure and uninterrupted; besides
that, in case of a rupture, or any attack, the States have full liberty
allowed them to take possession of all the Spanish Netherlands, and
therefore needed no particular stipulation for the towns above

"Having taken notice of this concession made to the States General, for
seizing upon the whole ten provinces; we cannot but observe to your
Majesty, that in the manner this article is framed, it is another
dangerous circumstance which attends this treaty; for had such a
provision been confined to the case of an apparent attack from France
only, the avowed design of this treaty had been fulfilled, and your
Majesty's instructions to your ambassador had been pursued: but this
necessary restriction hath been omitted, and the same liberty is granted
to the States, to take possession of all the Netherlands, whenever they
shall think themselves attacked by any other neighbouring nation, as
when they shall be in danger from France; so that if it should at any
time happen (which your Commons are very unwilling to suppose) that they
should quarrel, even with your Majesty, the riches, strength, and
advantageous situation of these countries, may be made use of against
yourself, without whose generous and powerful assistance they had never
been conquered.

"To return to those ill consequences which relate to the trade of your
kingdoms, we beg leave to observe to your Majesty, that though this
treaty revives, and renders your Majesty a party to the fourteenth and
fifteenth articles of the Treaty of Munster,[19] by virtue of which, the
impositions upon all goods and merchandises brought into the Spanish Low
Countries by the sea, are to equal those laid on goods and merchandises
imported by the Scheldt, and the canals of Sass and Swyn, and other
mouths of the sea adjoining; yet no care is taken to preserve that
equality upon the exportation of those goods out of the Spanish
provinces, into those countries and places, which, by virtue of this
treaty, are to be in the possession of the States; the consequence of
which must in time be, and your Commons are informed, that in some
instances it has already proved to be the case, that the impositions
upon goods carried into those countries and places, by the subjects of
the States General, will be taken off, while those upon the goods
imported by your Majesty's subjects remain: by which means, Great
Britain will entirely lose this most beneficial branch of trade, which
it has in all ages been possessed of, even from the time when those
countries were governed by the house of Burgundy, one of the most
ancient, as well as the most useful allies to the crown of England.

[Footnote 19: Concluded June 30th, 1643. See note in vol. v., p. 150, of
present edition. [T.S.]]

"With regard to the other dominions and territories of Spain, your
Majesty's subjects have always been distinguished in their commerce with
them, and both by ancient treaties, and an uninterrupted custom, have
enjoyed greater privileges and immunities of trade, than either the
Hollanders, or any other nation whatsoever. And that wise and excellent
treaty of the Grand Alliance, provides effectually for the security and
continuance of these valuable privileges to Britain, in such a manner,
as that each nation might be left, at the end of war, upon the same foot
as it stood at the commencement of it: but this treaty we now complain
of, instead of confirming your subjects' rights, surrenders and destroys
them; for although by the sixteenth and seventeenth articles of the
Treaty of Munster, made between his Catholic Majesty and the States
General, all advantages of trade are stipulated for, and granted to the
Hollanders, equal to what the English enjoyed; yet the crown of England
not being a party to that treaty, the subjects of England have never
submitted to those articles of it, nor even the Spaniards themselves
ever observed them; but this treaty revives those articles in prejudice
of Great Britain, and makes your Majesty a party to them, and even a
guarantee to the States General, for privileges against your own people.

"In how deliberate and extraordinary a manner your Majesty's ambassador
consented to deprive your subjects of their ancient rights, and your
Majesty of the power of procuring to them any new advantage, most
evidently appears from his own letters, which, by your Majesty's
directions, have been laid before your Commons:[20] for when matters of
advantage to your Majesty, and to your kingdom, had been offered, as
proper to be made parts of this treaty, they were refused to be admitted
by the States General, upon this reason and principle, that nothing
foreign to the guaranties of the Succession, and of the Barrier, should
be mingled with them; notwithstanding which, the States General had no
sooner received notice of a treaty of commerce concluded between your
Majesty and the present Emperor, but they departed from the rule
proposed before, and insisted upon the article, of which your Commons
now complain; which article your Majesty's ambassador allowed of,
although equally foreign to the Succession, or the Barrier; and although
he had for that reason departed from other articles, which would have
been for the service of his own country.

[Footnote 20: Printed in the "Journals," vol. xvii., pp. 87-89. [N.]]

"We have forborne to trouble your Majesty with general observations upon
this treaty, as it relates to and affects the empire, and other parts of
Europe. The mischiefs which arise from it to Great Britain, are what
only we have presumed humbly to represent to you, as they are very
evident, and very great: and as it appears, that the Lord Viscount
Townshend had not any orders, or authority, for concluding several of
those articles, which are most prejudicial to your Majesty's subjects;
we have thought we could do no less than declare your said ambassador,
who negotiated and signed, and all others who advised the ratifying of
this treaty, enemies to your Majesty and to your kingdom.

"Upon these faithful informations, and advices from your Commons, we
assure ourselves your Majesty, in your great goodness to your people,
will rescue them from those evils, which the private counsels of
ill-designing men have exposed them to; and that in your great wisdom
you will find some means for the explaining, and amending, the several
articles of this treaty, so as that they may consist with the interest
of Great Britain, and with real and lasting friendship between your
Majesty and the States General."[21]

[Footnote 21: This Representation was presented to Her Majesty March
4th, 171-1/2 and answered March 5th. [N.]]

Between the Representation and the first debates upon the subject of it,
several weeks had passed; during which time the Parliament had other
matters likewise before them, that deserve to be mentioned. For on the
ninth of February was repealed the Act for Naturalizing Foreign
Protestants, which had been passed under the last ministry, and, as many
people thought, to very ill purposes. By this Act any foreigner, who
would take the oaths to the government, and profess himself a
Protestant, of whatever denomination, was immediately naturalized, and
had all the privileges of an English born subject, at the expense of a
shilling.[22] Most Protestants abroad differ from us in the points of
church government; so that all the acquisitions by this Act would
increase the number of Dissenters; and therefore the proposal, that such
foreigners should be obliged to conform to the established worship, was
rejected. But because several persons were fond of this project, as a
thing that would be of mighty advantage to the kingdom, I shall say a
few words upon it.

[Footnote 22: See "The Examiner," Nos. 26 and 45, in vol. ix. of this
edition. [W.S.J.]]

The maxim, "That people are the riches of a nation," hath been crudely
understood by many writers and reasoners upon that subject. There are
several ways by which people are brought into a country. Sometimes a
nation is invaded and subdued; and the conquerors seize the lands, and
make the natives their under-tenants or servants. Colonies have been
always planted where the natives were driven out or destroyed, or the
land uncultivated and waste. In those countries where the lord of the
soil is master of the labour and liberty of his tenants, or of slaves
bought by his money, men's riches are reckoned by the number of their
vassals. And sometimes, in governments newly instituted, where there are
not people to till the ground, many laws have been made to encourage and
allure numbers from the neighbouring countries. And, in all these cases,
the new comers have either lands allotted them, or are slaves to the
proprietors. But to invite helpless families, by thousands, into a
kingdom inhabited like ours, without lands to give them, and where the
laws will not allow that they should be part of the property as
servants, is a wrong application of the maxim, and the same thing, in
great, as infants dropped at the doors, which are only a burthen and
charge to the parish. The true way of multiplying mankind to public
advantage, in such a country as England, is to invite from abroad only
able handicraftsmen and artificers, or such who bring over a sufficient
share of property to secure them from want; to enact and enforce
sumptuary laws against luxury, and all excesses in clothing, furniture,
and the like; to encourage matrimony, and reward, as the Romans did,
those who have a certain number of children. Whether bringing over the
Palatines were a mere consequence of this law for a general
naturalization; or whether, as many surmised, it had some other meaning,
it appeared manifestly, by the issue, that the public was a loser by
every individual among them; and that a kingdom can no more be the
richer by such an importation, than a man can be fatter by a wen, which
is unsightly and troublesome, at best, and intercepts that nourishment,
which would otherwise diffuse itself through the whole body.

About a fortnight after, the Commons sent up a bill for securing the
freedom of Parliaments, by limiting the number of Members in that House
who should be allowed to possess employments under the crown.[23] Bills
to the same effect, promoted by both parties, had, after making the like
progress, been rejected in former Parliaments; the court and ministry,
who will ever be against such a law, having usually a greater influence
in the House of Lords, and so it happened now. Although that influence
were less, I am apt to think that such a law would be too thorough a
reformation in one point, while we have so many corruptions in the rest;
and perhaps the regulations, already made on that article, are
sufficient, by which several employments incapacitate a man from being
chosen a Member, and all of them bring it to a new election.[24]

[Footnote 23: This self-denying ordinance easily passed through the
House of Commons, where probably men were ashamed of opposing it; and in
such a temper were the Peers, in whose House the ministry proposed to
make the stand, that it was very likely to have passed there also. But
an amendment was ingeniously thrown in, to suspend the operation of the
proposed Act until after the Queen's death; so that it was evaded for
the present, and never again revived. [S.] The Bill was rejected
February 29th, 171-1/2. [W.S.J.]]

[Footnote 24: P. Fitzgerald adds, "Neither do I believe any man who
truly understands and loves our constitution will imagine that the
prerogative hath not been sufficiently humbled within twenty years
past." [W.S.J.]]

For my own part, when I consider the temper of particular persons, and
by what maxims they have acted (almost without exception) in their
private capacities, I cannot conceive how such a bill should obtain a
majority, unless every man expected to be one of the fifty, which, I
think, was the limitation intended.

About the same time, likewise, the House of Commons advanced one
considerable step towards securing us against farther impositions from
our allies, resolving that the additional forces should be continued;
but with a condition, that the Dutch should make good their proportion
of three-fifths to two-fifths, which those confederates had so long, and
in so great degree, neglected. The Duke of Marlborough's deduction of
two and a half _per cent._, from the pay of the foreign troops, was also
applied for carrying on the war.[25]

[Footnote 25: In the "Journals of the House of Commons," vol. xvii., pp.
15-18, the Report of the Commissioners is printed, in which is included
the Duke's justification of his conduct. See above, p. 85. [N.]]

Lastly, within this period is to be included the Act passed to prevent
the disturbing those of the Episcopal Communion in Scotland[26] in the
exercise of their religious worship, and in the use of the liturgy of
the Church of England.[27] It is known enough, that the most
considerable of the nobility and gentry there, as well as great numbers
of the people, dread the tyrannical discipline of those synods and
presbyteries; and at the same time have the utmost contempt for the
abilities and tenets of their teachers. It was besides thought an
inequality, beyond all appearance of reason or justice, that Dissenters
of every denomination here, who are the meanest and most illiterate part
amongst us, should possess a toleration by law, under colour of which
they might, upon occasion, be bold enough to insult the religion
established, while those of the Episcopal Church in Scotland[28] groaned
under a real persecution. The only specious objection against this bill
was, that it set the religion by law, in both parts of the island, upon
a different foot, directly contrary to the Union; because, by an Act
passed this very session against occasional conformity, our Dissenters
were shut out from all employments. A petition from Carstares, and other
Scotch professors, against this bill, was offered to the House, but not
accepted; and a motion made by the other party, to receive a clause that
should restrain all persons, who have any office in Scotland,[28] from
going to episcopal meetings, passed in the negative. It is manifest,
that the promoters of this clause were not moved by any regard for
Scotland,[28] which is by no means their favourite at present; only they
hoped, that, if it were made part of a law, it might occasion such a
choice of representatives in both Houses, from Scotland,[28] as would be
a considerable strength to their faction here. But the proposition was
in itself extremely absurd, that so many lords, and other persons of
distinction, who have great employments, pensions, posts in the army,
and other places of profit, many of whom are in frequent or constant
attendance at the court, and utterly dislike their national way of
worship, should be deprived of their liberty of conscience at home; not
to mention those who are sent thither from hence to take care of the
revenue, and other affairs, who would ill digest the changing of their
religion for that of Scotland.[28]

With a farther view of favour towards the episcopal clergy of
Scotland,[28] three Members of that country were directed to bring in a
bill for restoring the patrons to their ancient rights of presenting
ministers to the vacant churches there, which the kirk, during the
height of their power, had obtained for themselves[29] And, to conclude
this subject at once, the Queen, at the close of the session, commanded
Mr Secretary St John to acquaint the House, "That, pursuant to their
address, the profits arising from the bishops' estates in Scotland,
which remained in the crown, should be applied to the support of such of
the episcopal clergy there, as would take the oaths to Her Majesty."[30]

[Footnote 26: P. Fitzgerald says "North Britain." [W.S.J.]]

[Footnote 27: The "Act to prevent," etc. (10 Ann. c. 10) was ordered
January 21st, and received the Royal Assent March 3rd, 171-1/2,

[Footnote 28: P. Fitzgerald says "North Britain." [W.S.J.]]

[Footnote 29: The Scotch Patronage Bill was ordered March 13th, [1711],
passed April 7th, and received the Royal Assent May 22nd, 1712 (10 Ann c
21). It did not refer to the Episcopal Church. [W.S.J.]

The Church of Scotland viewed the bills for restoring to the gentry the
right of patronage, and for tolerating the exercise of the Episcopal
persuasion, with great jealousy. The Reverend Mr William Carstares, who
had been secretary to King William, and was Principal of the College of
Edinburgh, was deputed to go to London at the head of a commission of
the church, to oppose the bills while in dependence. His biographer has
justly remarked, that these enactments considered at the time as fatal
to the interests of Presbytery in Scotland, have, upon experience,
proved her best security.

"Upon the one hand, the Act of Toleration, by taking the weapon of
offence out of the hands of the Presbyterians, removed the chief grounds
of those resentments which the friends of prelacy entertained against
them, and in a few years almost annihilated Episcopacy in Scotland Upon
the other hand, the Act restoring Patronages, by restoring the nobility
and gentlemen of property to then wonted influence in the settlement of
the clergy, reconciled numbers of them to the established church, who
had conceived the most violent prejudices against that mode of election,
and against the Presbyterian clergy, who were settled upon it. It is
likewise an incontestable fact, that, from the date of these two Acts,
the Church of Scotland has enjoyed a state of tranquillity to which she
was an utter stranger before." (Life of Carstares, prefixed to
Carstares's "State Papers," 1774, p 85) [S]]

[Footnote 30: This message was reported to the House of Commons June
19th, 1712. [W.S.J]]

Nothing could more amply justify the proceedings of the Queen and her
ministers, for two years past, than that famous Representation above at
large recited, the unbiassed wisdom of the nation, after the strictest
inquiry, confirming those facts upon which Her Majesty's counsels were
grounded and many persons, who were before inclined to believe that the
allies and the late ministry had been too much loaded by the malice,
misrepresentations, or ignorance of writers, were now fully convinced of
their mistake by so great an authority. Upon this occasion I cannot
forbear doing justice to Mr. St. John,[31] who had been secretary of
war, for several years, under the former administration, where he had
the advantage of observing how affairs were managed both at home and
abroad. He was one of those who shared in the present treasurer's
fortune, resigning his employment at the same time; and upon that
minister's being again taken into favour, this gentleman was some time
after made secretary of state. There he began afresh, by the
opportunities of his station, to look into past miscarriages; and, by
the force of an extraordinary genius, and application to public affairs,
joined with an invincible eloquence, laid open the scene of miscarriages
and corruptions through the whole course of the war, in so evident a
manner, that the House of Commons seemed principally directed in their
resolutions, upon this inquiry, by his information and advice. In a
short time after the Representation was published, there appeared a
memorial in the Dutch "Gazette," as by order of the States, reflecting
very much upon the said Representation, as well as the resolutions on
which it was founded, pretending to deny some of the facts, and to
extenuate others. This memorial, translated into English, a common
writer of news had the boldness to insert in one of his papers. A
complaint being made thereof to the House of Commons, they voted the
pretended memorial to be a false, scandalous, malicious libel, and
ordered the printer to be taken into custody.[32]

[Footnote 31: See his character in Swift's "Enquiry," vol. v., pp.
430-431, of this edition. [W.S.J.]]

[Footnote 32: The memorial appeared in the "Daily Courant" of 7th and
8th April, for which Samuel Buckley, the writer and printer, was ordered
by the House of Commons to be taken into custody on April 11th.

It was the misfortune of the ministers, that while they were baited by
their professed adversaries of the discontented faction, acting in
confederacy with emissaries of foreign powers, to break the measures Her
Majesty had taken towards a peace, they met at the same time with
frequent difficulties from those who agreed and engaged with them to
pursue the same general end; but sometimes disapproved the methods as
too slack and remiss, or, in appearance, now and then perhaps a little
dubious. In the first session of this Parliament, a considerable number
of gentlemen, all members of the House of Commons, began to meet by
themselves, and consult what course they ought to steer in this new
world. They intended to revive a new country party in Parliament, which
might, as in former times, oppose the court in any proceedings they
disliked. The whole body was of such who profess what is commonly called
high-church principles, upon which account they were irreconcilable
enemies to the late ministry and all its adherents. On the other side,
considering the temper of the new men in power, that they were persons
who had formerly moved between the two extremes, those gentlemen, who
were impatient for an entire change, and to see all their adversaries
laid at once as low as the dust, began to be apprehensive that the work
would be done by halves. But the juncture of affairs at that time, both
at home and abroad, would by no means admit of the least precipitation,
although the Queen and her first minister had been disposed to it, which
certainly they were not. Neither did the court seem at all uneasy at
this league, formed in appearance against it, but composed of honest
gentlemen who wished well to their country, in which both were entirely
agreed, although they might differ about the means; or if such a society
should begin to grow resty, nothing was easier than to divide them, and
render all their endeavours ineffectual.[33]

[Footnote 33: See Swift's "Advice to Members of the October Club," vol.
v., pp. 207-225. [W.S.J.]]

But in the course of that first session, many of this society became
gradually reconciled to the new ministry, whom they found to be greater
objects of the common enemy's hatred than themselves; and the attempt of
Guiscard, as it gained farther time for deferring the disposal of
employments, so it much endeared that person to the kingdom, who was so
near falling a sacrifice to the safety of his country. Upon the last
session of which I am now writing, this October Club (as it was called)
renewed their usual meetings, but were now very much altered from their
original institution, and seemed to have wholly dropped the design, as
of no further use. They saw a point carried in the House of Lords
against the court, that would end in the ruin of the kingdom; and they
observed the enemy's whole artillery directly levelled at the
treasurer's head. In short, the majority of the club had so good an
understanding with the great men at court, that two of the latter,[34]
to shew to the world how fair a correspondence there was between the
court and country party, consented to be at one of their dinners; but
this intercourse had an event very different from what was expected: for
immediately the more zealous members of that society broke off from the
rest, and composed a new one, made up of gentlemen, who seemed to expect
little of the court; and perhaps, with a mixture of others who thought
themselves disappointed, or too long delayed.[35] Many of these were
observed to retain an incurable jealousy of the treasurer, and to
interpret all delays, which they could not comprehend, as a reserve of
favour in this minister to the persons and principles of the abandoned

[Footnote 34: Mr. St. John and Mr. Bromley. [N.]]

[Footnote 35: This was called the March Club, but did not long subsist.
It seems probable that it included those _Tories_ whose principles went
the length of Jacobitism. [S.]]

Upon an occasion offered about this time, some persons, out of distrust
to the treasurer, endeavoured to obtain a point, which could not have
been carried without putting all into confusion. A Bill was brought into
the House of Commons, appointing commissioners to examine into the value
of all lands, and other interests granted by the crown since the
thirteenth day of February, one thousand six hundred and eighty-eight,
and upon what considerations such grants had been made. The united
country interest in the House was extremely set upon passing this Bill.
They had conceived an opinion from former precedents, that the court
would certainly oppose all steps towards a resumption of grants; and
those who were apprehensive that the treasurer inclined the same way,
proposed the Bill should be tacked to another, for raising a fund by
duties upon soap and paper, which hath been always imputed, whether
justly or no, as a favourite expedient of those called the Tory party.
At the same time it was very well known, that the House of Lords had
made a fixed and unanimous resolution against giving their concurrence
to the passing such united bills: so that the consequences of this
project must have been to bring the ministry under difficulties, to stop
the necessary supplies, and endanger the good correspondence between
both Houses; notwithstanding all which the majority carried it for a
tack; and the committee was instructed accordingly to make the two Bills
into one, whereby the worst that could happen would have followed, if
the treasurer had not convinced the warm leaders in this affair, by
undeniable reasons, that the means they were using would certainly
disappoint the end; that neither himself, nor any other of the Queen's
servants, were at all against this enquiry; and he promised his utmost
credit to help forward the bill in the House of Lords. He prevailed at
last to have it sent up single; but their lordships gave it another kind
of reception. Those who were of the side opposite to the court,
withstood it to a man, as in a party case: among the rest, some very
personally concerned, and others by friends and relations, which they
supposed a sufficient excuse to be absent, or dissent. Even those, whose
grants were antecedent to this intended inspection, began to be alarmed
as men, whose neighbours' houses are on fire. A shew of zeal for the
late king's honour, occasioned many reflections upon the date of this
enquiry, which was to commence with his reign: and the Earl of
Nottingham, who had now flung away the mask which he had lately pulled
off, like one who had no other view but that of vengeance against the
Queen and her friends, acted consistently enough with his design, by
voting as a lord against the Bill, after he had directed his son in the
House of Commons to vote for the tack.

Thus miscarried this popular Bill for appointing commissioners to
examine into royal grants; but whether those chiefly concerned did
rightly consult their own interest, hath been made a question, which
perhaps time will resolve. It was agreed that the Queen, by her own
authority, might have issued out a commission for such an enquiry, and
every body believed, that the intention of the Parliament was only to
tax the grants with about three years' purchase, and at the same time
establish the proprietors in possession of the remainder for ever; so
that, upon the whole, the grantees would have been great gainers by such
an Act, since the titles of those lands, as they stood then, were hardly
of half value with others either for sale or settlement. Besides, the
examples of the Irish forfeitures might have taught these precarious
owners, that when the House of Commons hath once engaged in a pursuit,
which they think is right, although it be stopped or suspended for a
while, they will be sure to renew it upon every opportunity that offers,
and seldom fail of success: for instance, if the resumption should
happen to be made part of a supply, which can be easily done without the
objection of a tack, the grantees might possibly then have much harder
conditions given them; and I do not see how they could prevent it.
Whether the resuming of royal grants be consistent with good policy or
justice, would be too long a disquisition: besides, the profusion of
kings is not like to be a grievance for the future, because there have
been laws since made to provide against that evil, or, indeed, rather
because the crown has nothing left to give away. But the objection made
against the date of the intended enquiry was invidious and trifling; for
King James II. made very few grants: he was a better manager, and
squandering was none of his faults; whereas the late king, who came over
here a perfect stranger to our laws, and to our people, regardless of
posterity, wherein he was not likely to survive, thought he could no way
better strengthen a new title, than by purchasing friends at the expense
of every thing which was in his power to part with.

The reasonableness of uniting to a money bill one of a different nature,
which is usually called _tacking_ hath been likewise much debated, and
will admit of argument enough. In ancient times, when a Parliament was
held, the Commons first proposed their grievances to be redressed, and
then gave their aids; so that it was a perfect bargain between the king
and the subject. This fully answered the ends of tacking. Aids were then
demanded upon occasions which would hardly pass at present; such, for
instance, as those for making the king's son a knight, marrying his
eldest daughter, and some others of the like sort. Most of the money
went into the king's coffers for his private use; neither was he
accountable for any part of it. Hence arose the form of the king's
thanking his subjects for their benevolence, when any subsidies, tenths,
or fifteenths were given him: but the supplies now granted are of
another nature, and cannot be properly called a particular benefit to
the crown, because they are all appropriated to their several uses: so
that when the House of Commons tack to a money bill what is foreign and
hard to be digested, if it be not passed, they put themselves and their
country in as great difficulties as the prince. On the other side, there
have been several regulations made, through the course of time, in
parliamentary proceedings; among which it is grown a rule, that a Bill
once rejected shall not be brought up again the same session; whereby
the Commons seem to have lost the advantage of purchasing a redress of
their grievances, by granting supplies, which, upon some emergencies,
hath put them upon this expedient of tacking: so that there is more to
be said on each side of the case, than is convenient for me to trouble
the reader or myself in deducing.

Among the matters of importance during this session, we may justly
number the proceedings of the House of Commons with relation to the
press, since Her Majesty's message to the House, of January the
seventeenth, concludes with a paragraph, representing the great licences
taken in publishing false and scandalous libels, such as are a reproach
to any government; and recommending to them to find a remedy equal to
the mischief. The meaning of these words in the message, seems to be
confined to these weekly and daily papers and pamphlets, reflecting upon
the persons and the management of the ministry. But the House of
Commons, in their address, which answers this message, makes an addition
of the blasphemies against God and religion; and it is certain, that
nothing would be more for the honour of the legislature, than some
effectual law for putting a stop to this universal mischief: but as the
person,[36] who advised the Queen in that part of her message, had only
then in his thoughts the redressing of the political and factious
libels, I think he ought to have taken care, by his great credit in the
House, to have proposed some ways by which that evil might be removed;
the law for taxing single papers having produced a quite contrary
effect, as was then foreseen by many persons, and hath since been found
true by experience, For the adverse party, full of rage and leisure
since their fall, and unanimous in defence of their cause, employ a set
of writers by subscription, who are well versed in all the topics of
defamation, and have a style and genius levelled to the generality of
readers; while those who would draw their pens on the side of their
prince and country, are discouraged by this tax, which exceeds the
intrinsic value both of the materials and the work; a thing, if I be not
mistaken, without example.

[Footnote 36: Mr. Secretary St. John, now Lord Viscount Bolingbroke.

It must be acknowledged, that the bad practices of printers have been
such, as to deserve the severest animadversions of the public; and it is
to be wished, the party quarrels of the pen were always managed with
decency and truth: but in the mean time, to open the mouths of our
enemies and shut our own, is a turn of politics that wants a little to
be explained. Perhaps the ministry now in possession, because they are
in possession, may despise such trifles as this; and it is not to be
denied, that acting as they do upon a national interest, they may seem
to stand in less need of such supports, or may safely fling them down as
no longer necessary. But if the leaders of the other party had proceeded
by this maxim, their power would have been none at all, or of very short
duration: and had not some active pens fallen in to improve the good
dispositions of the people, upon the late change, and continued since to
overthrow the falsehood, plentifully, and sometimes not unplausibly,
scattered by the adversaries, I am very much in doubt, whether those at
the helm would now have reason to be pleased with their success. A
particular person may, with more safety, despise the opinion of the
vulgar, because it does a wise man no real harm or good, but the
administration a great deal; and whatever side has the sole management
of the pen, will soon find hands enough to write down their enemies as
low as they please. If the people had no other idea of those whom Her
Majesty trusts in her greatest affairs, than what is conveyed by the
passions of such as would compass sea and land for their destruction,
what could they expect, but to be torn in pieces by the rage of the
multitude? How necessary therefore was it, that the world should, from
time to time, be undeceived by true representations of persons and
facts, which have kept the kingdom steady to its interest, against all
the attacks of a cunning and virulent faction.

However, the mischiefs of the press were too exorbitant to be cured, by
such a remedy as a tax upon the smaller papers; and a Bill for a much
more effectual regulation of it was brought into the House of Commons,
but so late in the session, that there was no time to pass it: for there
hath hitherto always appeared, an unwillingness to cramp overmuch the
liberty of the press, whether from the inconveniencies apprehended from
doing too much, or too little; or whether the benefit proposed by each
party to themselves, from the service of their writers, towards
recovering or preserving of power, be thought to outweigh the
disadvantages. However it came about, this affair was put off from one
week to another, and the Bill not brought into the House till the eighth
of June. It was committed three days, and then heard of no more. In this
Bill there was a clause inserted, (whether industriously with design to
overthrow it) that the author's name, and place of abode, should be set
to every printed book, pamphlet, or paper; which I believe no man, who
hath the least regard to learning, would give his consent to: for,
besides the objection to this clause from the practice of pious men,
who, in publishing excellent writings for the service of religion, have
chosen, out of an humble Christian spirit, to conceal their names; it is
certain, that all persons of true genius or knowledge have an invincible
modesty and suspicion of themselves, upon their first sending their
thoughts into the world; and that those who are dull or superficial,
void of all-taste and judgment, have dispositions directly contrary: so
that if this clause had made part of a law, there would have been an
end, in all likelihood, of any valuable production for the future,
either in wit or learning: and that insufferable race of stupid people,
who are now every day loading the press, would then reign alone, in time
destroy our very first principles of reason, and introduce barbarity
amongst us, which is already kept out with so much difficulty by so few

Having given an account of the several steps made towards a peace, from
the first overtures begun by France, to the commencement of the second
session, I shall in the Fourth Book relate the particulars of this great
negotiation, from the period last mentioned to the present time; and
because there happened some passages in both Houses, occasioned by the
treaty, I shall take notice of them under that head. There only remains
to be mentioned one affair of another nature, which the Lords and
Commons took into their cognizance, after a very different manner,
wherewith I shall close this part of my subject.

The sect of Quakers amongst us, whose system of religion, first founded
upon enthusiasm, hath been many years growing into a craft, held it an
unlawful action to take an oath to a magistrate. This doctrine was
taught them by the author of their sect, from a literal application of
the text, "Swear not at all;" but being a body of people, wholly turned
to trade and commerce of all kinds, they found themselves on many
occasions deprived of the benefit of the law, as well as of voting at
elections, by a foolish scruple, which their obstinacy would not suffer
them to get over. To prevent this inconvenience, these people had credit
enough in the late reign to have an Act passed, that their solemn
affirmation and declaration should be accepted, instead of an oath in
the usual form. The great concern in those times, was to lay all
religion upon a level; in order to which, this maxim was advanced, "That
no man ought to be denied the liberty of serving his country upon
account of a different belief in speculative opinions," under which term
some people were apt to include every doctrine of Christianity: however,
this Act, in favour of the Quakers, was only temporary, in order to keep
them in constant dependence, and expired of course after a certain term,
if it were not continued. Those people had, therefore, very early in the
session, offered a petition to the House of Commons for a continuance of
the Act, which was not suffered to be brought up; upon this they applied
themselves to the Lords, who passed a Bill accordingly, and sent it down
to the Commons, where it was not so much as allowed a first reading.

And indeed it is not easy to conceive upon what motives the legislature
of so great a kingdom could descend so low, as to be ministerial and
subservient to the caprices of the most absurd heresy that ever appeared
in the world; and this in a point, where those deluding or deluded
people stand singular from all the rest of mankind who live under civil
government: but the designs of an aspiring party, at that time were not
otherwise to be compassed, than by undertaking any thing that would
humble and mortify the Church; and I am fully convinced, that if a sect
of sceptic philosophers (who profess to doubt of every thing) had been
then among us, and mingled their tenets with some corruptions of
Christianity, they might have obtained the same privilege; and that a
law would have been enacted, whereby the solemn doubt of the people
called sceptics, should have been accepted instead of an oath in the
usual form; so absurd are all maxims formed upon the inconsistent
principles of faction, when once they are brought to be examined by the
standard of truth and reason.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****




We left the plenipotentiaries of the allies, and those of the enemy,
preparing to assemble at Utrecht on the first of January, N.S., in order
to form a congress for negotiating a general peace; wherein although the
Dutch had made a mighty merit of their compliance with the Queen, yet
they set all their instruments at work to inflame both Houses against
Her Majesty's measures. Mons. Bothmar, the Hanover envoy, took care to
print and disperse his Memorial, of which I have formerly spoken:
Hoffman, the Emperor's resident, was soliciting for a yacht and convoys
to bring over Prince Eugene at this juncture, fortified, as it was given
out, with great proposals from the Imperial court: the Earl of
Nottingham became a convert, for reasons already mentioned: money was
distributed where occasion required; and the Dukes of Somerset and
Marlborough, together with the Earl of Godolphin, had put themselves at
the head of the junto, and their adherents, in order to attack the

Some days after the vote passed the House of Lords for admitting into
the address the Earl of Nottingham's clause, against any peace without
Spain; Mons. Buys, the Dutch envoy, who had been deep in all the
consultations with the discontented party for carrying that point, was
desired to meet with the lord privy seal, the Earl of Dartmouth, and Mr.
Secretary St. John, in order to sign a treaty between the Queen and the
States, to subsist after a peace. There the envoy took occasion to
expostulate upon the advantages stipulated for Britain with France; said
"It was his opinion, that those ministers ought, in respect of the
friendship between both nations, to acquaint him what these advantages
were; and that he looked upon his country to be entitled, by treaty, to
share them equally with us: That there was now another reason why we
should be more disposed to comply with him upon this head; for since the
late resolution of the House of Lords, he took it for granted, it would
be a dangerous step in us to give Spain to a prince of the house of
Bourbon; and therefore, that we should do well to induce the States, by
such a concession, to help us out of this difficulty."

Mr. St. John made answer, "That there was not a man in the Queen's
council capable of so base a thought: That if Buys had any thing to
complain of, which was injurious to Holland, or justly tending to hurt
the good correspondence between us and the States, he was confident Her
Majesty would at all times be ready to give it up; but that the
ministers scorned to screen themselves at the expense of their country:
That the resolution Buys mentioned, was chiefly owing to foreign
ministers intermeddling in our affairs, and would perhaps have an effect
the projectors did not foresee: That, if the peace became impracticable,
the House of Commons would certainly put the war upon another foot, and
reduce the public expense within such a compass as our treaties required
in the strictest sense, and as our present condition would admit,
leaving the partisans for war to supply the rest."

Although the secretary believed this answer would put an end to such
infamous proposals, it fell out otherwise; for shortly after, Mons. Buys
applied himself to the treasurer, promising to undertake, "That his
masters should give up the article of Spain, provided they might share
with us in the Assiento for negroes." To which the treasurer's answer
was short, "That he would rather lose his head than consent to such an

It is manifest, by this proceeding, that whatever schemes were forming
here at home, in this juncture, by the enemies to the peace, the Dutch
only designed to fall in with it as far as it would answer their own
account; and, by a strain of the lower politics, wherein they must be
allowed to excel every country in Christendom, lay upon the watch for a
good bargain, by taking advantage of the distress they themselves had
brought upon their nearest neighbour and ally.

But the Queen highly resented this indignity from a republic, upon whom
she had conferred so many obligations. She could not endure that the
Dutch should employ their instruments to act in confederacy with a cabal
of factious people, who were prepared to sacrifice the safety of their
prince and country to the recovery of that power they had so long
possessed and abused. Her Majesty knew very well, that whatever were the
mistaken or affected opinion of some people at home, upon the article of
Spain, it was a point the States had long given up, who had very openly
told our ministry, "That the war in that country was only our concern,
and what their republic had nothing to do with." It is true, the
party-leaders were equally convinced, that the recovery of Spain was
impracticable; but many things may be excused in a professed adversary,
fallen under disgrace, which are highly criminal in an ally, upon whom
we are that very instant conferring new favours. Her Majesty therefore
thought it high time to exert herself, and at length put a stop to
foreign influence upon British counsels; so that, after the Earl of
Nottingham's clause against any peace, without Spain, was carried in the
House of Lords, directions were immediately sent to the Earl of
Strafford at The Hague, to inform the Dutch, "That it was obtained by a
trick, and would consequently turn to the disappointment and confusion
of the contrivers and the actors." He was likewise instructed to be very
dry and reserved to the pensionary and Dutch ministers; to let them
know, "The Queen thought herself ill treated; and that they would soon
hear what effects those measures would have upon a mild and good temper,
wrought up to resentment by repeated provocations: That the States might
have the war continued, if they pleased; but that the Queen would not be
forced to carry it on after their manner, nor would suffer them to make
her peace, or to settle the interests of her kingdoms."

To others in Holland, who appeared to be more moderate, the Earl was
directed to say, "That the States were upon a wrong scent: That their
minister here mistook every thing that we had promised: That we would
perform all they could reasonably ask from us, in relation to their
barrier and their trade; and that Mons. Buys dealt very unfairly, if he
had not told them as much. But that Britain proceeded, in some respects,
upon a new scheme of politics; would no longer struggle for
impossibilities, nor be amused by words: That our people came more and
more to their senses; and that the single dispute now was, whether the
Dutch would join with a faction, against the Queen, or with the nation,
for her?"

The court likewise resolved to discourage Prince Eugene from his journey
to England, which he was about this time undertaking, and of which I
have spoken before. He was told, "That the Queen wanted no exhortations
to carry on the war; but the project of it should be agreed abroad, upon
which Her Majesty's resolutions might soon be signified: but until she
saw what the Emperor and allies were ready to do, she would neither
promise nor engage for any thing." At the same time Mr. St. John told
Hoffman, the Emperor's resident here, "That if the Prince had a mind to
divert himself in London, the ministers would do their part to entertain
him, and be sure to trouble him with no manner of business."

This coldness retarded the Prince's journey for some days; but did not
prevent it, although he had a second message by the Queen's order, with
this farther addition, "That his name had lately been made use of, on
many occasions, to create a ferment, and stir up sedition; and that Her
Majesty judged it would be neither safe for him, nor convenient for her,
that he should come over at this time." But all would not do: it was
enough that the Queen did not absolutely forbid him, and the
party-confederates, both foreign and domestic, thought his presence
would be highly necessary for their service.

Towards the end of December, the lord privy seal[1] set out for Holland.
He was ordered to stop at The Hague, and, in conjunction with the Earl
of Stafford, to declare to the States, in Her Majesty's name, "Her
resolutions to conclude no peace, wherein the allies in general, and
each confederate in particular, might not find their ample security, and
their reasonable satisfaction: That she was ready to insist upon their
barrier, and advantages in their trade, in the manner the States
themselves should desire; and to concert with them such a plan of
treaty, as both powers might be under mutual engagements never to recede
from: That nothing could be of greater importance, than for the
ministers of Great Britain and Holland to enter the congress under the
strictest ties of confidence, and entirely to concur throughout the
course of these negotiations: To which purpose, it was Her Majesty's
pleasure, that their lordships should adjust with the Dutch ministers,
the best manner and method for opening and carrying on the conferences,
and declare themselves instructed to communicate freely their thoughts
and measures to the plenipotentiaries of the States, who, they hoped,
had received the same instructions."

[Footnote 1: Dr. Robinson had already had diplomatic experience as
political agent at the Court of Stockholm, when Marlborough had found
him of great service. [T.S.]]

Lastly, the two lords were to signify to the pensionary, and the other
ministers, "That Her Majesty's preparations for the next campaign were
carried on with all the dispatch and vigour, which the present
circumstances would allow; and to insist, that the same might be done by
the States; and that both powers should join in pressing the Emperor,
and other allies, to make greater efforts than they had hitherto done;
without which the war must languish, and the terms of peace become every
day more disadvantageous."

The two British plenipotentiaries went to Utrecht with very large
instructions, and, after the usual manner, were to make much higher
demands from France (at least in behalf of the allies) than they could
have any hope to obtain. The sum of what they had in charge, besides
matter of form, was, to concert with the ministers of the several powers
engaged against France, "That all differences arising among them should
be accommodated between themselves, without suffering the French to
interfere: That whatever were proposed to France by a minister of the
alliance, should be backed by the whole confederacy: That a time might
be fixed for the conclusion, as there had been for the commencement, of
the treaty." Spain was to be demanded out of the hands of the Bourbon
family, as the most effectual means for preventing the union of that
kingdom with France; and whatever conditions the allies could agree upon
for hindering that union, their lordships were peremptorily to insist

As to the interests of each ally in particular, the plenipotentiaries of
Britain were to demand "Strasbourg, the fort of Kehl, with its
dependencies, and the town of Brisach, with its territory, for the
Emperor: That France should possess Alsatia, according to the Treaty of
Westphalia, with the right of the prefecture only over the ten imperial
cities in that country: That the fortifications of the said ten cities
be put into the condition they were in at the time of the said treaty,
except Landau, which was to be demanded for the Emperor and empire, with
liberty of demolishing the fortifications: That the French King should
at a certain time, and at his own expense, demolish the fortresses of
Huningen, New Brisach, and Fort Lewis, never to be rebuilt.

"That the town and fortress of Rhinfels should be demanded for the
landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, until that matter be otherwise settled.

"That the clause relating to religion, in the fourth article of the
Treaty of Ryswyck, and contrary to that of Westphalia, should be
annulled, and the state of religion in Germany restored to the tenor of
the Treaty of Westphalia.

"That France should acknowledge the King of Prussia, and give him no
disturbance in Neufchatel and Vallengin.

"That the principality of Orange, and other estates belonging to the
late King William, should be restored, as law should direct.

"That the Duke of Hanover should be acknowledged elector.

"That the King of Portugal should enjoy all the advantages stipulated
between him and the allies.

"That the States should have for their barrier Furnes, Fort Knokke,
Menin, Ypres, Lille, Tournay, Conde, Valenciennes, Maubeuge, Douay,
Bethune, Aire,[2] St. Venant, and Bouchain, with their cannon, &c. That
the French King should restore all the places belonging to Spain, now or
during this war in his possession, in the Netherlands: That such part of
them as should be thought fit, might be allowed likewise for a barrier
to the States: That France should grant the tariff of one thousand six
hundred and sixty-four to the States, and exemption of fifty pence _per_
tun upon Dutch goods trading to that kingdom. But that these articles in
favour of the States should not be concluded, till the Barrier Treaty
were explained to the Queen's satisfaction.

[Footnote: 2 "Bethune Avie" in original: a manifest misprint. "Aire" is
the name of a place near Bethune, which has since been connected with it
by a canal. [W.S.J.]]

"That the Duke of Savoy should be put in possession of all taken from
him in this war, and enjoy the places yielded to him by the Emperor, and
other allies: That France should likewise yield to him Exilles,
Fenestrelle, Chaumont, the valley of Pragelas, and the land lying
between Piedmont and Mount Genu.

"That the article about demolishing of Dunkirk should be explained."

As to Britain, the plenipotentiaries were to insist, "That Nieuport,
Dendermonde, Ghent, and all places which appear to be a barrier rather
against England than France, should either not be given to the Dutch, or
at least in such a manner, as not to hinder the Queen's subjects free
passage to and from the Low Countries.

"That the seventh article of the Barrier Treaty, which empowers the
States, in case of an attack, to put troops at discretion in all the
places of the Low Countries, should be so explained as to be understood
only of an attack from France.

"That Britain should trade to the Low Countries with the same privileges
as the States themselves.

"That the Most Christian King should acknowledge the succession of
Hanover, and immediately oblige the Pretender to leave France; and that
the said King should promise, for himself and his heirs, never to
acknowledge any person for King or Queen of England, otherwise than
according to the settlements now in force.

"That a treaty of commerce should be commenced, as soon as possible,
between France and Britain; and in the mean time, the necessary points
relating to it be settled.

"That the Isle of St. Christopher's should be surrendered to the Queen,
Hudson's Bay restored, Placentia and the whole island of Newfoundland
yielded to Britain by the Most Christian King; who was likewise to quit
all claim to Nova Scotia and Annapolis Royal.

"That Gibraltar and Minorca should be annexed to the British crown.

"That the Assiento should be granted to Britain for thirty years, with
the same advantage as to France; with an extent of ground on the river
of Plata, for keeping and refreshing the negroes.

"That Spain should grant to the subjects of Britain as large privileges
as to any other nation whatsoever; as likewise an exemption of duties,
amounting to an advantage of at least fifteen _per cent_.

"That satisfaction should be demanded for what should appear to be
justly due to Her Majesty, from the Emperor and the States.

"Lastly, That the plenipotentiaries should consult with those of the
Protestant allies, the most effectual methods for restoring the
Protestants of France to their religious and civil liberties, and for
the immediate release of those who are now in the galleys."

What part of these demands were to be insisted on, and what were to be
given up, will appear by the sequel of this negotiation. But there was
no difficulty of moment enough to retard the peace, except a method for
preventing the union of France and Spain under one prince, and the
settling the barrier for Holland; which last, as claimed by the States,
could, in prudence and safety, be no more allowed by us than by France.

The States General having appointed Mons. Buys to be one of their
plenipotentiaries at Utrecht, that minister left England a few days
after the lord privy seal. In his last conference with the lords of the
council, he absolutely declared, "That his masters had done their
utmost, both by sea and land: That it was unreasonable to expect more:
That they had exceeded their proportion, even beyond Britain; and that
as to the Emperor, and other allies, he knew no expedient left for
making them act with more vigour, than to pursue them with pathetical

This minister was sent over hither, instructed and empowered by halves.
The ferment raised by the united endeavours of our party leaders, among
whom he was a constant fellow-labourer to the utmost of his skill, had
wholly confounded him; and thinking to take the advantage of negotiating
well for Holland at the expense of Britain, he acted but ill for his own
country, and worse for the common cause. However, the Queen's ministers
and he parted with the greatest civility; and Her Majesty's present was
double the value of what is usual to the character he bore.[3]

[Footnote 3: Compare this passage with one in Bolingbroke's
"Correspondence" (vol. ii., pp. 108-109): "He [Buys] came over
instructed and empowered by halves. The ferment which had been created
by the joint efforts of the faction here, and of that in Holland,
confounded him; and thinking to take this advantage of negotiating well
for Holland at the expense of Britain, he has negotiated ill for both
and ill for the common cause. We parted in terms of the greatest
civility, and Her Majesty's present to him was a thousand pounds,
which is double the value of what is ever given here to an
envoy-extraordinary." [T.S.]]

As the Queen was determined to alter her measures in making war, so she
thought nothing would so much convince the States of the necessity of a
peace, as to have them frequently put in mind of this resolution, which
her ambassador Strafford, then at The Hague, was accordingly directed to
do: and if they should object, of what ill consequence it would be for
the enemy to know Her Majesty designed to lessen her expenses, he might
answer, "That the ministers here were sorry for it; but the Dutch could
only blame themselves, for forcing into such a necessity a princess, to
whose friendship they owed the preservation and grandeur of their
republic, and choosing to lean on a broken faction, rather than place
their confidence in the Queen."

It was Her Majesty's earnest desire, that there should be a perfect
agreement at this treaty between the ministers of all the allies, than
which nothing could be more effectual to make France comply with their
just demands: above all, she directed her plenipotentiaries to enter
into the strictest confidence with those of Holland; and that, after the
States had consented to explain the Barrier Treaty to her reasonable
satisfaction, both powers should form between them a plan of general
peace, from which they would not recede, and such as might secure the
quiet of Europe, as well as the particular interests of each

The Dutch were accordingly pressed, before the congress opened, to come
to some temperament upon that famous treaty; because the ministers here
expected it would be soon laid before the House of Commons, by which the
resentment of the nation would probably appear against those who had
been actors and advisers in it: but Mons. Buys, who usually spoke for
his colleagues, was full of opposition, began to expostulate upon the
advantages Britain had stipulated with France; and to insist, that his
masters ought to share equally in them all, but especially the Assiento
contract: so that no progress was made in fixing a previous good
correspondence between Britain and the States, which Her Majesty had so
earnestly recommended.

Certain regulations having been agreed upon, for avoiding of ceremony
and other inconveniencies, the conferences began at Utrecht, upon the
twenty-ninth of January, N.S. one thousand seven hundred and
eleven-twelve, at ten in the morning. The ministers of the allies going
into the town-house at one door, and those of France, at the same
instant, at another, they all took their seats without distinction; and
the Bishop of Bristol, lord privy seal, first plenipotentiary of
Britain, opened the assembly with a short speech, directed to the
ministers of France, in words to the following effect:


"We are here to meet to-day, in the name of God, to enter upon a treaty
of general peace, between the high allies and the King your master. We
bring sincere intentions, and express orders from our superiors, to
concur, on their part, with whatever may advance and perfect so salutary
and Christian a work. On the other side, we hope you have the same
disposition; and that your orders will be so full, as to be able,
without loss of time, to answer the expectation of the high allies, by
explaining yourselves clearly and roundly upon the points we shall have
to settle in these conferences; and that you will perform this in so
plain and specific a manner, as every prince and state in the
confederacy may find a just and reasonable satisfaction."

The French began, by promising to explain the overtures which Mons.
Mesnager had delivered to the Queen some months before, and to give in a
specific project of what their master would yield, provided the allies
would each give a specific answer, by making their several demands;
which method, after many difficulties, and affected delays in the Dutch,
was at length agreed to.

But the States, who had, with the utmost discontent, seen Her Majesty at
the head of this negotiation, where they intended to have placed
themselves, began to discover their ill-humour upon every occasion; they
raised endless difficulties about settling the Barrier Treaty, as the
Queen desired; and in one of the first general conferences, they would
not suffer the British secretary to take the minutes, but nominated some
Dutch professor for that office, which the Queen refused, and resented
their behaviour as an useless cavil, intended only to shew their want of
respect. The British plenipotentiaries had great reason to suspect, that
the Dutch were, at this time, privately endeavouring to engage in some
separate measures with France, by the intervention of one Molo, a busy
factious agent at Amsterdam, who had been often employed in such
intrigues: that this was the cause which made them so litigious and slow
in all their steps, in hopes to break the congress, and find better
terms for their trade and barrier, from the French, than we ever could
think fit to allow them. The Dutch ministers did also apply themselves
with industry, to cultivate the imperial plenipotentiary's favour, in
order to secure all advantages of commerce with Spain and the West
Indies, in case those dominions could be procured for the Emperor: for
this reason they avoided settling any general plan of peace, in concert
with the plenipotentiaries of Britain, which Her Majesty desired; and
Mons. Buys plainly told their lordships, that it was a point, which
neither he nor his colleagues could consent to, before the States were
admitted equal sharers with Britain in the trade of Spain.

The court having notice of this untractable temper in the Dutch, gave
direct orders to the plenipotentiaries of Britain, for pressing those of
the States to adjust the gross in equalities of the Barrier Treaty,
since nothing was more usual or agreeable to reason than for princes,
who find themselves aggrieved by prejudicial contracts, to expect they
should be modified and explained. And since it now appeared by votes in
the House of Commons, that the sense of the nation agreed with what Her
Majesty desired, if the Dutch ministers would not be brought to any
moderate terms upon this demand, their lordships were directed to
improve and amend the particular concessions made to Britain by France,
and form them into a treaty, for the Queen was determined never to allow
the States any share in the Assiento, Gibraltar, and Port Mahon, nor
could think it reasonable, that they should be upon an equal foot with
her in the trade of Spain, to the conquest whereof they had contributed
so little.

Nor was the conduct of the imperial minister at this time less
perplexing than that of the States, both those powers appearing fully
bent, either upon breaking off the negotiation, or, upon forcing from
the Queen those advantages she expected by it for her own kingdoms. Her
Majesty therefore thought fit, about the beginning of March, to send Mr.
Thomas Harley, a near relation of the treasurer's, to Utrecht, fully
informed of her mind, which he was directed to communicate to the
plenipotentiaries of Britain.

Mr. Harley stopped in his way to Utrecht at The Hague, and there told
the pensionary, "That nothing had happened lately in England but what
was long ago foretold him, as well as the other ministers of the allies.
That the proceedings of the House of Commons, particularly about the
Barrier Treaty, must chiefly be ascribed to the manner in which the
Queen and the nation had been treated by Mons. Bothmar, Count Gallas,
Buys, and other foreign ministers. That if the States would yet enter
into a strict union with the Queen, give her satisfaction in the said
treaty, and join in concert with her plenipotentiaries at Utrecht, a
safe and advantageous peace might be obtained for the whole alliance;
otherwise Her Majesty must save her own country, and join with such of
her allies as would join with her.

"As to the war, that the conduct of the allies, and their opposition to
the Queen, by private intrigues carried on among her own subjects, as
well as by open remonstrances, had made the House of Commons take that
matter out of the hands of the ministers.

"Lastly, that in case the present treaty were broken off by the Dutch
refusing to comply, Her Majesty thought it reasonable to insist, that
some cautionary places be put into her hands as pledges, that no other
negotiation should be entered into by the States General, without her

Mr. Harley's instructions to the Queen's plenipotentiaries were, "That
they should press those of France, to open themselves as far as
possible, in concerting such a plan of a general peace, as might give
reasonable satisfaction to all the confederates, and such as her
Parliament would approve: That the people of England believed France
would consent to such a plan; wherein if they found themselves deceived,
they would be as eager for prosecuting the war as ever."

Their lordships were to declare openly to the Dutch, "That no extremity
should make Her Majesty depart from insisting to have the Assiento for
her own subjects, and to keep Gibraltar and Port Mahon; but if the
States would agree with her upon these three heads, she would be content
to reduce the trade of Spain and the West Indies, to the condition it
was in under the late Catholic King Charles II."

The French were farther to be pressed, "That the Pretender should be
immediately sent out of that kingdom; and that the most effectual method
should be taken, for preventing the union of France and Spain under one

About this time Her Majesty's ministers, and those of the allies at
Utrecht, delivered in the several _postulata_ or demands of their
masters to the French plenipotentiaries, which having been since made
public, and all of them, except those of Britain, very much varying in
the course of the negotiation, the reader would be but ill entertained
with a transcript of them here.

Upon intelligence of the last dauphin's death, the father, son, and
grandson, all of that title,[4] dying within the compass of a year,
Mons. Gaultier went to France with letters to the Marquis de Torcy, to
propose Her Majesty's expedient for preventing the union of that kingdom
with Spain; which, as it was the most important article to be settled,
in order to secure peace for Europe, so it was a point that required to
be speedily adjusted under the present circumstances and situation of
the Bourbon family, there being only left a child of two years old to
stand between the Duke of Anjou and his succeeding to the crown of

[Footnote 4: These princes were the grandfather, the father, and the
brother, of Louis XV., who was then Duke of Anjou, and supposed to be at
the point of death. [N.]]

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